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Colors work when adding col elflord to my .vimrc file but vim complains about trailing characters col elflord. Changing the command to color elflord or colorscheme elflord gets rid of the complaint, but then colors don't work.

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    Glad I could help. If you think the hints might be helpful to others, please don't delete, but accept the answer by clicking on the outlined arrow next to it. – Ingo Karkat Jul 20 '14 at 19:05
  • You say what solved your issue by marking the check/tick and not with an edit – random Jul 21 '14 at 4:43
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The :col abbreviation expands to :colder, not :colorscheme. Typing :col<Tab> or :help :col would have told you that. I'd generally recommend to use the full command names in .vimrc or plugins for clarity; the abbreviations are most useful when entering commands interactively.

So, you have to investigate why the colorscheme doesn't work:

  • Does it work when entered interactively? Then, there's probably another colorscheme definition in your ~/.vimrc, or in a plugin. :echo g:colors_name tells you the current colorscheme.
  • Does the file exist? :echo globpath(&runtimepath, 'colors/elflord.vim') should list the colorscheme.

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